The Executive Officers

Vivian Gonzalez

President

Vivian Gonzalez began studying the violin at age 5. At age ten Ms. Gonzalez made her solo debut with the former Philharmonic Orchestra of Florida. Her teachers include members of Miami String Quartet, Felicia Moye, Ivan Chan, and Margaret Pardee of the Juilliard School. Ms. Gonzalez is a product of Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Magnet Programs.

Upon graduating from New World School of the Arts High School, Ms. Gonzalez attended the Mannes College in New York, University of Florida, Florida International University and Florida Atlantic University. Wanting to give back to the community that gave so much to her, Ms. Gonzalez became a Miami-Dade County Public School music teacher in 1999.

Ms. Gonzalez has presented on the subject of inclusion of special needs students in the music classroom at the American String Teachers Association National Conferences in Atlanta, GA and Providence, RI, as well as at the MDCPS Music Day held at Florida International University. Ms. Gonzalez has also been a free-lance professional violinist in the South Florida area since 1995.

In her fourteen years of teaching, Ms. Gonzalez has had the great privilege of teaching thousands of students including students with special needs and music magnet. Currently, Ms. Gonzalez is a National Board Certified Teacher and Grammy Music Educator Award Finalist, teaching the magnet and general music students in grades three through five at South Miami K-8 Center.

April Queen

President Elect

April Queen (president-elect)

April Queen is the Orchestra Director and Performing Arts Chair at Palmer Trinity School in Miami. She holds a Bachelor's and Master's in Viola Performance from the University of Miami.

 

As an active member of FMEA, Mrs. Queen has served on the FOA Board as District Chair for Miami-Dade county for four years.  She is an alum of the FMEA Summer Institute and has served as a Solo & Ensemble adjudicator in Broward, Collier, and Palm Beach counties.

 

Since 2003, Mrs. Queen has worked to build the orchestra program at Palmer Trinity School and boasts active participation from a third of the school's  student population in the performing arts programs. Her orchestra ensembles are seasoned global travelers having toured and performed in Canada, Germany, China, and most recently, Ireland.  When not in the classroom, Mrs. Queen finds balance at home with her husband, Charlie and their son, Chip.

Silvia Cisneros

Secretary

Silvia Cisneros is currently the Orchestra Director at Cocoa High School 7-12 and is also an Itinerant String Teacher for the schools that feed into Cocoa High in Brevard County. She earned a Bachelor's in Cello Performance at the University of Miami and a Master's in Cello Pedagogy at the University of Texas at Austin. While studying at UT, she was part of the UT String project. After graduating, she taught orchestra for five years in Austin before she moved to Brevard County. This will be her 18th year teaching orchestra.

Angelica DeJesus

Treasurer

Angelica DeJesus grew up in Miami and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Miami. At UM, she studied under the direction of Robert Rozek (violin), Pamela McConnell (viola), and Glen Basham (violin). During her time at the University of Miami, she was able to study Chamber Music in Switzerland during a summer abroad course. In 2007, she directed the Superintendent’s Honors Music Festival Elementary Orchestra. As a working musician in Miami, Angelica has been part of the string section of various artists such as Jose Feliciano, Ricky Martin, Mana, Sean John Combs (P. Diddy), and has been on tour with Kanye West (Touch the Sky Tour 2005). Angelica serves as an adjudicator for various music evaluation festivals throughout the state of the Florida.

Angelica has taught Choir, Band, and Orchestra for the past 8 years. Under her direction, the advanced groups have earned Superior Ratings at District and State level Festivals and Competitions. Angelica is an active member of the Florida Orchestra Association, Florida Bandmasters Association, Florida Federation of Music Clubs - Royal Poinciana Division, and Florida’s chapter of American String Teachers Association.

Past President

Kasia Bugaj is Assistant Professor of String Music Education in the College of Music at The Florida State University. She received her Ph.D. in Music Education from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She also has degrees from Western Michigan University, The Peabody Conservatory, and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy. She has a minor in writing from Johns Hopkins University and pursued a certificate of literary translation at Indiana University.

Prior to her appointment at Florida State University, Dr. Bugaj was the director of the Attica Violin Project, a curricular elementary school violin program in Attica, Indiana. She was also the assistant director of the Fairview and Highland Park string programs, and taught violin and viola on the faculty of the Indiana University String Academy. She was adjunct faculty at Valparaiso University, a member of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and also played with the Grand Rapids and Louisville Symphony Orchestras.

At FSU, Dr. Bugaj teaches string techniques and methods courses; she also teaches at the FSU Summer Music Camps. Her research interests include string pedagogy, working with underserved populations, and music teacher education. She has presented at state, national, and international conferences and—in addition to academic articles—has published articles about music for the general audience. She is an active translator of Polish musical texts.

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